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Miss Lonelyhearts
Miss Lonelyhearts: & the Day of the Locust | Jonathan Lethem, Nathanael West
8 posts | 22 read | 9 to read
First published in 1933, Miss Lonelyhearts remains one of the most shocking works of 20th century American literature, as unnerving as a glob of black bile vomited up at a church social: empty, blasphemous, and horrific. Set in New York during the Depression and probably West's most powerful work, Miss Lonelyhearts concerns a nameless man assigned to produce a newspaper advice column but as time passes he begins to break under the endless misery of those who write in, begging him for advice. Unable to find answers, and with his shaky Christianity ridiculed to razor-edged shards by his poisonous editor, he tumbles into alcoholism and a madness fueled by his own spiritual emptiness. During his years in Hollywood West wrote The Day of the Locust, a study of the fragility of illusion. Many critics consider it with F. Scott Fitzgerald's unfinished masterpiece The Last Tycoon (1941) among the best novels written about Hollywood. Set in Hollywood during the Depression, the narrator, Tod Hackett, comes to California in the hope of a career as a painter for movie backdrops but soon joins the disenchanted second-rate actors, technicians, laborers and other characters living on the fringes of the movie industry. Tod tries to seduce Faye Greener; she is seventeen. Her protector is an old man named Homer Simpson. Tod finds work on a film called prophetically The Burning of Los Angeles, and the dark comic tale ends in an apocalyptic mob riot outside a Hollywood premiere, as the system runs out of control.
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quote
MrsBatt
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“The cigarette was imperfect and refused to draw.”

blurb
gradcat
Miss Lonelyhearts: & the Day of the Locust | Jonathan Lethem, Nathanael West
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#anglophileapril

(Day 29 - #OwnerOfALonelyHeart)

*I‘m soooo literal....

Leftcoastzen Love that old edition, I love West. 10mo
Reviewsbylola I love the blurb—a comedy with tragic implications! (edited) 10mo
emilyhaldi Cool cover 😍 10mo
See All 6 Comments
Mdargusch Perfect! 👌🏼 10mo
gradcat @Leftcoastzen Omigod! I‘m so glad to know that someone else has read West. I don‘t really know of many people who enjoy his books. 10mo
gradcat @Reviewsbylola @emilyhaldi @Mdargusch Thanks for your thoughts, ladies! ♥️ 10mo
69 likes1 stack add6 comments
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Lola
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The first novella is this two novella volume was so-so/2 stars for me. Parts were brilliant but overall, it didn't work for me. My two star rating description from my GR page: "It was ok. Maybe a little more than ok, maybe a little less. It might have been really good in parts. But overall it was flat and left me a bit cold." That about sums it up. I'll give it a "it was a little more than ok" but not much. Maybe 2.5 ⭐️s On to Day of the Locust.

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Lola
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I've barely read three pages and this is already depressing the hell out of me. Yikes. @Waynegjr Classics in Brief @RoscoeBooks Book Club, July.

seebiscan I picked this up this weekend...here's to hoping it isn't completely depressing! 3y
Lola @seebiscan I think that particular hope is going to be futile. I do hope to see you at Classics-missed you at Fiction! And side note-I don't like the print/font/format/layout of this edition at all 😑 3y
seebiscan I'll be at classics and fiction this month! 😊 3y
29 likes4 comments
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Libby1
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Panpan

NOT FOR ME.

⭐️

Lola I'm fifty pages in and I feel ya...😑 3y
36 likes1 comment
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Libby1
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Well, I'm finding this pretty awful so far.

I'd Bail but it's only 110 pages. 😬

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Libby1
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"'But that reminds me, I'm expecting one of my admirers - a cow-eyed girl of great intelligence.' He illustrated the word intelligence by carving two enormous breasts in the air with his hands. 'She works in a book store, but wait until you see her behind.'"

Laura317 Oh my gosh! 😳😂 3y
BookNAround I read this in high school for a Literary Outcasts class but I don't remember passages like this! (Maybe because high school was a thousand years ago.) 3y
Libby1 Wow - you read this in high school, @BookNAround ? What did you think of it then? 3y
Libby1 No kidding, @Laura317 . It only got worse. 😬 3y
BookNAround Yeah, the high school I went to was pretty incredible. All I really remember about the book was that it felt very depressing. 3y
50 likes3 stack adds5 comments
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m.galehuxley
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I started to read this one because I read that Flannery O'Connor was influenced by Nathanel West. I've recently started to admire O'Connor, so I'm trying to learn as much from and about her as possible. I can certainly see how she was influenced by Miss Lonelyhearts, and I'm not even very far into it.